USS Memphis Participates in Final 'Deplaquing Ceremony' at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
KITTERY, Maine (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Memphis (SSN 691) participated in her final "deplaquing" ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Jan. 19 signifying the end of the maintenance period as the 33-year old submarine prepares for her official decommissioning.
Normally the "deplaquing" ceremony signifies both the end of a submarine's maintenance period and the beginning of its return to sea. For Memphis, the deplaquing ceremony marks the turning over of the submarine to the shipyard to prepare for an official decommissioning ceremony.
"I am exceptionally proud of the crew and grateful to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard team as we celebrate the completion of the final mission of the Mighty Memphis and remove our plaque from the wall at Tirante Tavern," said Cmdr. Jeffrey Joseph, commanding officer, Memphis.
Memphis arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard April 7, 2011 to complete the process of being retired from the fleet.
A decommissioning ceremony for Memphis is scheduled for February 2012.
"While it's hard to see USS Memphis in her decommissioned status, I take pride in knowing that I once served as the commanding officer of this phenomenal ship, otherwise known as the prowler of the deep," said Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge, commander, Submarine Group 2, who attended the ceremony.
The admiral praised the Sailors assigned to the submarine for their "unheralded work" while preparing for the upcoming decommissioning.
"It is indicative of the commitment that we have cradle to grave with our submarines," said Breckenridge. "While it is hard work and requires dedication on the behalf of our Sailors, but it is an example of the kind of commitment we have within the submarine force."
Breckenridge commanded Memphis from 2001 to 2004. During his commanding officer tour, his crew conducted numerous tactical development exercises and fleet operations including a 2003 deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Memphis is the Navy's fourth Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine and sixth vessel named in honor of the city of Memphis. Memphis was taken out of service in April 2011 at Naval Submarine Base New London.